One of the most important things to a seafarin’ man, besides stayin’ alive, was servin’ aboard a ship captained by a superior officer, think Patrick O’Brien’s Captain Aubrey. Like ye old Master and Commander’s favorite ship, Surprise, built in Le Havre and completed in 1794 (displacement 579 tons, a 126 ft gundeck with 32 32-pounder carronades and two long 6-pounder guns), the most important ship for any captain sailin’ the sea was a frigate.
Frigates were highly prized above other ships, including the behemoth Ship-of-the-Line, because of their agility and speed which enabled them to scout and relay messages to the fleet. A tactical genius, Admiral Nelson sent the Admiralty regular dispatches requesting more frigates for his fleet. According to his calculations, four-six were needed, especially when the one-two frigates normally at his disposal were often deployed as couriers, leaving his fleet blind. Nelson’s requests, however, were downplayed by the Admiralty. What would a few more frigates mean to the Vice Admiral of the White?
What made a frigate so dearly beloved and highly prize by every country at sea?
- Frigates were light, fast scouts, the core of the navy sent to search out the enemy, attack and destroy, if necessary, escort merchant ships, and offer support to Ship-of-the-Line.
- Frigates were self-sufficient, well-suited to independent action.
- A frigate’s speed was determined by the optimal location and length of masts and spars, wind and sea conditions.
- With the right wind conditions, frigates were swift lone wolves capable of outrunning any ship.
- Frigate gunfire drew the enemy in for the fleet.
- Frigates relayed flag messages to the fleet and blocked signals from enemy ships.
- Frigates easily maneuvered headlands, straits, narrows, and approaches to seaports, deftly turned in high seas, and darted in and out of battle lines.
- Frigates set sail for six months at a time, sailing vast distances in shorter periods of time.
- Winning a frigate duel ranked high. Capturing frigates and merchant ships, generated the most prize money and prestige.
- When sent to raid commercial/enemy ships, frigate captains often became wealthy men.
- Rewards to victorious English captains: glory, professional superiority, a sealed reputation, advancement, possible knighthood.
- Rewards to victorious French captains: names placed on Revolutionary Roll of Honor, names inscribed in Arc de Triomphe, fame, adulation, possible ennoblement.
By 1800, British shipwrights were designing and building the best frigates in the world and the most versatile warships in the age of sail. Of all the frigates ever designed however, Joshua Humphrey’s American ship, the USS Constitution, ranks supreme. Humphrey’s goal to combine English and French frigate construction created the best of both, a ship capable of carrying 44 pounders.
Navigation, survival instincts, a proving ground for ambitious officers, frigates helped naval crews believe they were indestructible. Given a frigate’s powerful and successful capabilities, is it any wonder that pirates prized frigates too? Why not? In 1799, 4 frigates were captured with gold/silver aboard and £40,000 was awarded and distributed to the crew, with the captain taking the lion’s share. To put this into perspective, a frigate captain only earned a little over £100 a year.
Given all that frigates could do, it seemed only natural when I wrote The Pirate’s Duchess to model the Black Regent’s ship, the Fury, after a frigate and the Black Pearl. (Pirate!)
ONCE UPON A TRUE LOVE’S KISS ~ THE PIRATE’S DUCHESS by KATHERINE BONE
Duty forces him to take on the pirate code, but honor brings him back.
Prudence, Duchess of Blackmoor, has one desire—to be happy again. After struggling to overcome the horrifying death of her husband, she accepts an earl’s offer of marriage, confident she’s taking a step in the right direction. But when demons refuse to die, Prudence finds herself caught in an intricate web of deceit that threatens the very foundations of all she holds dear.
When an assassination attempt on him fails, Tobias, the Duke of Blackmoor, crosses the line. Staging his own death to restore reputations of friends under attack by the same villain, and ensure his wife’s safety, he becomes The Black Regent, a notorious pirate bent on brandishing justice, never thinking he’d survive. But to his amazement, he has, and now the darkest-kept secrets are not worth losing the duchess his wife has become.
Once Upon a True Love’s Kiss is available only until April 4th, 2016. Don’t delay. Get your copy today! Eight books in one box set is a great steal at $.99!!!
USA Today Bestselling author, Julie Johnstone, joins bestselling, award-winning authors Katherine Bone, Collette Cameron, Jillian Chantal, Samantha Grace, Alanna Lucas, Lauren Smith, and Victoria Vane in this delightful limited edition, containing eight tantalizing kiss-and-tell stories. Meet dashing, wildly charming rogues, spies, pirates, rakes and their extraordinary, intrepid heroines as they whisk you along on sweet to sizzling romantic romps in these wickedly entertaining historical romances.
AFTER FOREVER by JULIE JOHNSTONE, USA Today bestselling author. Lady Julia is hired to turn a rogue into a gentleman and receives lessons in love and desire.
THE PIRATE’S DUCHESS by KATHERINE BONE, National bestselling author. A duke masquerading as a pirate to “rob from the rich and give to the poor” sheds his darkest-kept secrets to keep from losing the duchess his wife has become.
HER SCANDALOUS WISH by COLLETTE CAMERON, National bestselling and Award-winning author. A marriage offer obligated by duty . . . an acceptance compelled by desperation.
MILADY AND HER SPY by JILLIAN CHANTAL, 2015 RONE Finalist. A lady, a spy, a traitor… a battle of wills.
KISSED BY A SCOTTISH ROUGE by SAMANTHA GRACE, Acclaimed, RITA-nominated author. Scottish land steward Fergus McTaggert calls a temporary truce with his employer’s companion only to discover their passionate battles have been masking their hidden desires.
STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT by ALANNA LUCAS, National bestselling author. A rake, an heiress, and stolen kisses…this seduction could be his last.
TEMPTED BY A ROGUE by LAUREN SMITH, National bestselling, Award-winning author. Gemma never planned on falling in love with her childhood sweetheart’s best friend, Jasper, when he returns home, but she can’t resist the naval officer’s brooding charm.
THE REDEMPTION OF JULIAN PRICE by VICTORIA VANE, National bestselling and award-winning author. She gave him a chance to bury his past…but the price would be his heart.
Ahoy, me hearties! If you captained a frigate, what name would be painted on your ship?